Arnaldo Forlani was one of the most powerful politicians in Italy from the 1960s to the 1990s. He was twice the head of Democrazia Cristiana (Christian Democracy). The political party would be the most successful in the country's modern political history.

Forlani rose to become both prime minister and deputy prime minister of Italy. He also had a very solid chance of becoming the Italian president, but members of his party withdrew their support for him amid his involvement in a major scandal.

Passed away on July 6, 2023

Arnaldo Forlani has died at the age of 97.

An official cause of death was not released to the public right away. But Forlani was apparently at his home in Rome when he died.

Forlani is Italy's third former prime minister to pass away in a little over a year. He follows Ciriaco De Mita and Silvio Berlusconi.

Forlani's political career began with internal positions with Christian Democracy and at the local level in Pesaro. In 1958, he was elected to Italy's Chamber of Deputies for the first time, representing Ancona. He became a close ally of Prime Minister Mariano Rumor, under whom he held multiple Cabinet postings. In 1969, Forlani was selected to lead Christian Democracy. He led Christian Democracy to victory in the 1972 general election, and his fellow party member Giulio Andreotti remained prime minister.

Forlani left the role of party leader the following year but remained a major player. The next year, Prime Minister Aldo Moro appointed him the defense minister. After Andreotti returned to power, he named Forlani his foreign affairs minister.

In 1980, Forlani embarked on a brief tenure as prime minister. His premiership included dealing with matters such as the catastrophic Irpinia earthquake.

As well as the publicization of the organization Propaganda Due.

Questions from some about his handling of the latter prompted him to resign as prime minister. Forlani returned to the backbenches of the Chamber of Deputies. Giovanni Spadolini of the Partito Repubblicano Italiano (Italian Republican Party) became the new premier.

Forlani made another try for the leadership of Christian Democracy in 1982 but fell short of De Mita.

He was later sentenced to prison

In 1983 Arnaldo Forlani became deputy prime minister under Partito Socialista Italiano (Italian Socialist Party) Prime Minister Bettino Craxi. He served in the role until 1987. In 1989, Forlani returned as the Christian Democracy leader.

Forlani was initially his party's nominee three years later in that year's presidential election. But he and Craxi became implicated in the Mani pulite corruption scandal. With Christian Democracy members no longer backing him, he eventually left the race. Ultimately, Christian Democracy's new candidate was Chamber of Deputies President Oscar Luigi Scalfaro.

Scalfaro would go on to win the Presidency.

Forlani resigned as party leader later in the year. He remained a member of the Chamber of Deputies until 1994.

Forlani and Craxi were both sentenced to prison for corruption. Forlani could serve his time via other avenues without being incarcerated. Craxi would flee to Tunisia.